The Guide to Oval Cut Diamonds – How to balance the 4Cs
Bursting with brilliance and fire, an oval cut diamond is a popular alternative to the round brilliant, with its elongated design making it appear larger than other shapes of the same carat weight. Its shape has no sharp corners, so it is less prone to chipping, making it a wonderfully durable option, perfect for an engagement ring which will be worn every day.
When buying any diamond, considering the 4Cs – carat, colour, clarity and cut – is crucial. If you’re unsure about the 4Cs or how to balance them to get the best diamond for your budget, do read our Diamond Buying Guide here. This blog is all about how to balance the 4Cs specifically for oval cut diamonds.
Because of their elongated shape, an oval cut diamond will appear slightly larger than a round brilliant cut diamond of the same carat weight. When comparing a round and an oval, the oval covers more of the finger length, making it seem more substantial to the naked eye. This is a reason why the oval cut is a popular choice.
Oval cut diamonds tend to show colour a little more than other shapes, so we always prioritise this when balancing the 4Cs. We recommend choosing a colour between D and I. Within this range, it is up to your personal preference and sensitivity to colour. While you should choose the diamond you love best, consulting an expert will ensure that you are getting the best value for your budget.
Ovals are great at camouflaging inclusions, giving you a little more flexibility when it comes to the clarity of your diamond, so many will choose an oval with lower clarity but higher-quality colour. A VS2 clarity (very slightly included) is almost guaranteed to not show any visible inclusions to the naked eye. In some cases, SI (slightly included) ovals can also be eye clean, however, this varies diamond to diamond. If you are considering an SI diamond, always seek the help of an expert like Alicia J to examine the placement of the inclusions to ensure the diamond is eye clean.
With ovals, it’s important to consider the length to width ratio. Some people love a chubbier oval, others prefer a longer, skinnier oval. The traditional, classic oval shape is usually between 1.3 and 1.4. Ovals under 1.3 will appear chubbier. And an oval over 1.4 is considered more elongated. The flattering elongated shaping of the oval can give the appearance of longer slimmer, fingers.
Top tip: Look out for the Bow Tie effect in ovals, which shows as dark triangles in the diamond. The Bow Tie effect is common in elongated shapes such as ovals and pears but is something to avoid.
To recap, when shopping for an oval cut diamond, think about each of the 4cs and decide which is most important to you. Ultimately, balancing the 4Cs depends on personal preferences and which characteristics you would like to prioritise, and which you are happy to compromise on. To some, ensuring their diamond is bright white and colourless is more important than the diamond having a few blemishes or imperfections, so they are willing to compromise on the clarity to get their preferred colour. Others prefer to sacrifice a little on the colour in order to get a bigger carat weight. There is no right answer, but it is important to gain a good understanding of each of the 4Cs to make an educated decision as knowledge makes for a much more confident purchase.
At Alicia J, we can help you choose the right diamond, and show you what to look for in each stone. We only offer the highest quality GIA certified diamonds, while ensuring our customers get the best value for their budget.
For assistance with choosing diamond jewellery, including evaluating the qualities of a diamond and balancing the 4Cs to get the best possible diamond for your budget, get in touch with one of our friendly experts today. We’ll help you find the perfect piece for you.